WJA Awards $21,000 in Scholarships

The Women’s Jewelry Association has awarded $21,000 in student scholarships to 15 jewelry students from 12 different schools in 2007. The annual awards are based on slides of three finished pieces submitted by each student, who must be enrolled in a jewelry or watch design study program in the United States.

WJA’s top student scholarship, the June Herman Scholarship, was awarded to Terri Valencia in the sum of $4,000. Valencia is enrolled at Arizona State University, working on her Bachelors in Fine Arts in Metalsmithing.

Valencia is also co-owner of Metals Edge Studio, and she plans to continue her education and pursue an MFA in order to offer classes that will be accepted as credit by colleges and universities.

“Terri’s work demonstrated knowledge of not only intricate detail work, but also anticlastic raising,” says Lisa Slovis Mandel from Lisa Slovis Metalsmithing and chairperson of the Student Scholarship committee.

Second Place scholarships of $3,500 were awarded to Stacey Webber of the University of Wisconsin – Madison, and Rebecca Barton of Southern Illinois University Edwardsville.

Webber’s studies have led her to make sculptural objects that are about jewelry, but are not wearable. Works such as “FancyWork: Jewelers Tools” embody traditional jewelry techniques and tools, but exist as sculpture, said Webber.

Barton described her award-winning design, called “Ulmus Cuprous,” as representing “the ideas of nature and defense.  The contrast of the organic imagery with the utilitarian function of the scale mail (overlapping, scale-like metal plates) presents a unique dichotomy.”

The Third Place award of a $2,000 Scholarship went to Carol Salisbury of Oregon College of Art and Craft. $1,000 Scholarships were awarded to Rebecca Beals, East Tennessee State University; Fu-Ya Chen, Temple University Tyler School of Art, Philadelphia; Iris Lin, California State University, Long Beach; Alexandra Speer, Rhode Island School of Design; and Stacey VanWaldick, Syracuse University

$750 Scholarships were awarded to Susan Bellflower, Virginia Commonwealth University; Molly Strader, Indiana University, Bloomington; and Laura Wood, The University of Georgia. $250 scholarships were awarded to three students at the Nicolas G. Hayek Watchmaking School in Secaucus, N.J.: Kristina DeLane, Angela Shibley-Webb, and Anna Vakhilt.

The top four winners will also receive a scholarship courtesy of the Bell Group to attend the Clasp Conference in Denver in September. 

Scholarship funds were raised from the proceeds of WJA’s Silent Auction held during its annual Awards for Excellence gala in July 2006, and from contributions of companies and individuals who support WJA’s mission: the June Herman Fund; David B. Rosenberg Scholarship Fund; Gumuchian Fils Ltd. Fund; Helene Fortunoff Fund; Kaiser-Time Jewelry Fund; M. Markman-Suberi Bros. Fund; Phyllis and Ira Bergman Fund; Samuel Aaron Co. Scholarship Fund; the Marilyn DaSilva Fund; and the Dione and William Kenyon Fund.